Forces and Flow in Biological Systems

DPG - Physics School

So, 23.09.2012 18:00  –   Fr, 28.09.2012 14:00
Ulrich Schwarz (Heidelberg) and Gerhard Gompper (Jülich)
Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
Hauptstr. 5, 53604 Bad Honnef, Germany

Victor Gomer,
Externer Link:


DPG Physics School on

Forces and Flow in Biological Systems

supported by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus - Foundation
23 - 28 September, 2012, Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Germany
Organized by
Ulrich Schwarz (Heidelberg) and Gerhard Gompper (Jülich)


Force and movement are central elements of life. In contrast to traditional man-made material, however, biomaterials have unusual elastic and viscous properties and therefore deform and flow differently. In order to understand the physics related to forces and flow in biological systems, one has to extend traditional approaches like continuum mechanics to address the fact that they are complex, hierarchical, thermally fluctuating, and active. Recent advances in the physics of soft condensed matter and non-equilibrium physics provide rewarding avenues for meeting this challenge. Moreover large and complex systems can be approached today with computer simulations to much more quantitative detail than formerly possible.

This school will bring together some of the leading physicists working with analytical and computational approaches to study forces and flow in cellular systems. Important biological systems addressed in the course will be the mechanics of red blood cells, deformation and transport of cells in the blood flow, active swimming of microorganisms (e.g. sperm, bacteria and algae), mechanics, traction and shape of adherent cells, flow inside migrating cells, hydrodynamic and mechanical interactions of cells, and the large-scale mechanics of tissue.

Confirmed speakers & subjects
• Tom Powers (U Brown), Introduction to low-Reynolds-number hydrodynamics / Swimming in viscoelastic media
• Gerhard Gompper (FZ Jülich), Mesoscale hydrodynamic simulations
• Dmitry Fedosov (FZ Jülich), Modeling blood flow on the cell scale
• Ramin Golestanian (U Oxford), Active hydrodynamics at small scales: self-propulsion and coordination
• Holger Stark (TU Berlin), Hydrodynamic interactions in soft matter and active particle systems
• Andreas Bausch (TU Munich), Cytoskeletal pattern formation: Self-organization of driven filaments
• Ray Goldstein (U Cambridge), Green algae as model organisms for biological fluid dynamics
• Ulrich Schwarz (U Heidelberg), Active contractility of cells and tissue
• Erwin Frey (LMU Munich), Collective phenomena in active cytoskelatal systems
• Frank Jülicher (MPI Dresden), Dynamic organization of developing tissues
• Dirk Drasdo (Paris), Towards predictive quantitative modeling of tissue organization on histological scales: imaging, image analysis and modeling of liver regeneration and tumorigenesis
• Fred MacKintosh (Amsterdam), Mechanics and dynamics of fiber networks
• Carina Edwards (London), Continuum modelling of tissue contraction, growth and morphogenesis
• Stephan Grill (MPI Dresden), Cellular polarization by coupling an active fluid to a pattern forming system
• Nir Gov (Weizmann Inst. Israel), Modeling active particles, membranes and gels